I take the subway to work every morning, and I love it. I like having 30 minutes each way of uninterrupted reading time. I am lucky that I work uptown and live downtown, so I normally get a seat on the train. I am unperturbed by the occasional disruptions in the transit system because I really do appreciate having it, and it gets me where I need to go.
As a regular user of the subway, I try be a considerate rider. I don’t block the door, I’ll move to the empty space close to the middle of the car, and I’ll give up my seat for the old lady with 17 shopping bags. And when I’m holding the pole in the middle of the car, I simply hold it. I don’t lean on it, or wrap my arms around it, making it unusable for other transit riders.
This is something I see a lot of on the subway. People use the middle pole as a prop to hold them up, or as a travelling companion who they must lean on or wrap themselves all around, so they alone command this structure. My coworker unlovingly refers to these morons as pole dancers. And truly, their behaviour implies that this is their pole, to hold and lean on and devour as they wish. And it drives me batty. ‘Cuz you know what, dudes? It’s not your pole. That pole belongs to everyone who paid their fair fare to ride this damn train to go places early in the morning that often times we don’t want to go to. Three or four people could hold on to that pole, preventing them from falling into my lap when the subway jerks its way in and out of stations. It’s so thoughtless and inconsiderate, and it makes my brain hurt.
Let’s remember the words of Jon Stewart, my subway riding peeps: When in doubt, don’t be douchy.